A jury in Cook County gave the largest personal injury award in Chicago history yesterday reports the Chicago Tribune. A young woman is set to receive $148 million after being injured by a bus shelter during a storm in August of 2015. Tierney Darden of Vernon Hills sobbed as the decision was read by the judge. It took two years and a week-long trial to finally end this ordeal for the paralyzed woman.The city has not indicated yet whether it intends to appeal the decision.
Darden was a dance student in August of 2015. The then 24-year-old had just returned to Chicago with her mother and sister. They’d been shopping. There was a wedding coming up and they needed bridesmaids dresses. They were waiting outside O’Hare  airport for their ride in the middle of an August storm. A nearby pedestrian shelter was pulled off its moorings by the strong winds, and landed on top of Darden, paralyzing her from the waist down as it severed her spinal cord. She had been attending Truman College as a dance student.
It was revealed during the trial that there were bolts missing from the runaway shelter. An investigation found that several shelters at the airport weren’t maintained properly, and had issues with missing bolts, broken brackets, and corroded materials. It was because of these factors that the jury ruled in her favor. Chicago had already admitted that they were at fault, but the trial was to determine how much they should pay in damages.
It seems as if Darden must have done everything right to make sure she got the award that she deserved for the pain and suffering she has experienced. There are some things that can ruin a personal injury lawsuit, and it’s best to avoid them. For one, make sure that you give all the information you have to your attorneys and to the court. If you’re caught lying or omitting something important, then your credibility comes under suspicion. Also, avoid talking about the case on social media. If you post pictures that make it seem like you’re not as injured as much as you’re claiming, then your case would be in jeopardy. Also, if you are seen to be bragging or vindictive, it will put you in a bad light. Talking about settlement details can also completely invalidate a settlement, so it’s probably best to just not talk about your case at all with your friends and family on social media.
Another thing that can derail your case is choosing to represent yourself. You’d be facing off against an attorney with experience and a deep knowledge of the law. Getting a quality personal injury lawyer may cost more up front, but it will increase your chances of winning your case exponentially. They can file the claim for you, and if it comes to it, an attorney is the best choice to handle things in court. Call today for a consultation and to discuss your options.

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